Thursday, May 8, 2014

Trippin' : Escalante, UT

First, a quick story... 

So, a few weeks back I had a familiar itch, one that I often get when I need an escape, vacation, adventure, what have you... I was going crazy feeling like a robot at work and the weather was prime for getting lost in a desolated environment. This always irks me when I work and work and oh... work some more and Ty gets weekends off and I work the whole weekend so we don't have any time to go outside together! ANYWAY, I wasn't in the most pleasant of spirits for a few days straight, but of course, no one noticed because, well, I'm good at faking it... When one day at work, a gentleman with a long grey ponytail and a flannel button down shirt (badass) came through my line. I was very polite and kind while ringing up his groceries, out of nowhere he asked me if my birthday was within the first week of August... "uh... yes." I replied, a bit confused. "The 8th?" he asked, with no hesitation. "Whoa." was all I said in response. He smiled and said, "Well, you're a free-spirited one." I was completely taken aback. Drawing blanks, unsure of what to say to this stranger, who acted as if he'd known me my whole life. Good thing there was no one in line behind him at the time, I probably looked kind of ridiculous while trying to comprehend what was happening. He proceeded to tell me what kind of soul he believed I was. "Do you feel the constant need for adventure?" "Mhmm" I replied, totally intrigued. "And you go through phases of battling the idea of quitting your job and heading for the hills?" "My whole life," I told him. HIs reply, "yep, I see that." What? I thought, that's it? Turns out the old man is a therapist and uses some sort of aura reading and personality tests to guide patients into realizing their needs. Awesome. He read me like an open book. But... it only made me want to walk out the door and take a hike even more so than I'd wanted to before. That's me in a nutshell for you folks, almost never content. Totally happy with with my life, my accomplishments, my perfect little family, just always have big dreams. Can't help it. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. I guess I just feel like I want to see and experience everything I can, I don't want to miss anything! 

So then... we took off somewhere...

We planned this trip a while back... except, we had no idea where we were going. We both got the 'OK' from our places of employment to take the specific dates off, and we knew that we wanted to do some backpacking. The weather, of course took a turn and became pretty iffy (rainy/windy) the week of, so we figured our best bet would be somewhere south. 
Here's the thing- when you have a K9 for a child, you'll find that your options for vacations or getaways are very limited. And I didn't want to leave the kid at home, I mean, this is Sonny's absolute FAVORITE thing to do. Wander. So, knowing all of that, we narrowed down our options and settled on ESCA-FREAKING-LANTE! I was stoked. Ty has been there a few times and done some awesome hikes, and I've always been way jealous. Finally, my turn! 
We planned to do one of the slot canyons and make a backpacking trip out of it, yeah... that didn't roll over so well with the weather gods. It rained and there were flash flood warnings, so we figured we'd most likely end up sticking with a few safe, shorter hikes. We didn't really know what to expect on the way down, but we went for it anyway! And to be honest, we definitely don't regret it, those shorter hikes, that weren't awesome slot canyons, were so much fun and truly beautiful! It was so worth it! Just being in a wilderness of some kind, discovering nature's mysterious beauty with my favorite people (and/or pup) is all I could ever want in life! 

This is what our road trip looked like- cloudy, slightly rainy, but beautiful! Heading into the unknown and hoping for the best- Utah will never seize to amaze me with it's incredibly diverse environments. We got to see a little bit of everything on this road trip!

And... The Husband started a fire just before dark, ^^^ so we could warm our toesies! Ty somehow always seems to find us the coolest camp spots around... he knows exactly where to go. It's weird. But I don't mind. 

Well, I'm love-struck. Escalante is amazing. I want to return again and again and again. There are so many incredible trails and towers, hoodoos and arches. Lush green foliage against red sandstone, and random granite hills with desert life growing between it's crevices. Perfection. 
(Subaru advertisement, yes?)

Later that evening: Sunset Arch-
**It was SO windy**

^^^Ty: "Here, let me get a picture of you" Me: "K..." he hands me back the camera and we keep hiking... didn't realize this was my picture until I uploaded them to my computer.... Thanks, babe. 

"That's right."
We camped at a new spot the 2nd night. Super cool! Sonny chased a jack rabbit into a hole, and he buried his bone (which he's never done before) on the hillside, it was the cutest thing to watch. He had red sand all over his face from trying to cover it. Never did quite get the whole thing hidden, that darn bone.

A 3rd hike the next morning-
**Hot and sunny with a slight breeze- yes!**


On this trail, there were about five crossings of this river... which means Ty carried me across the same damn river five times! Oh, I love him. 

^^^See the arch?

^^^Trying to capture the arch in the background, fail. Guys, do I have any boogs?

^^^This little sweetheart walked through a couple cacti... ouch. 

And then, just before taking the road back home.... 
The most dreamy date...

Kiva Koffehouse, everyone. Right smack dab in the middle of the canyon... Magic. #iwanttolivethere